(JTA) – Iran said it is installing new and improved uranium-enrichment centrifuges, and that they are being supervised by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog.
The new machines have "better quality and speed," Ramin Mehmanparast, a spokesman for the Iranian foreign minister, said Tuesday, according to reports.
Mehmanparast said the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency was supervising the new centrifuges and that they were being used for peaceful purposes.
The U.N. Security Council in New York has called on Tehran to halt all uranium enrichment until the IAEA has completely inspected its nuclear activities. Iran has nearly 6,000 centrifuges working to purify uranium to the 3.5 percent level, according to the latest report by the IAEA.
Iran announced last month that it will triple its uranium enrichment capacity and expand its production of higher-level enriched uranium under the watchful eye of the IAEA. While Iranian officials say that the fuel will be used to power a medical research reactor, the higher-level enriched uranium also can be used to arm a nuclear bomb.